Intro Unit: The Politics of Education - Enlightenment or Propaganda?

Intro Unit, Class 2: The Mis-education of the Negro

Study Guide

Study Questions

Suggested Vocabulary
Randomly ask students the definition of one of the following words. Then ask them to put the word in a sentence. This is a great exercise for the beginning or end of a class, or if you finish a class early.

miseducation - poor, wrong, or harmful education.

omission - originating or occurring naturally in a particular place; native to a place.

perpetuation - the continuation or preservation of a situation, idea, etc.
"we criticized the perpetuation of racial stereotypes"

bibliophile - a person who collects or has a great love of books.    

disseminate - spread or disperse (something, especially information) widely.
"health authorities should foster good practice by disseminating information"
synonyms: spread, circulate, distribute, disperse, promulgate, propagate, publicize, communicate, pass on, put about, make known.

rectified - put (something) right; correct.
"mistakes made now cannot be rectified later"

From Carter G. Woodson Letter to Thomas Barnes
1. What is a primary source document? What is a secondary source document? Which source is the most reliable? Why? Provide examples of each.
2. How does the information in this document relate to the state of Black history today?

From Mis-education of the Negro Excerpts
3. In the preface, Woodson argues that Black people and white people should be educated differently.  Why does he believe the public school system is negative for Black people?
4. In the preface, what does Woodson state is the primary goal of education?
5. In chapter 1, what does Woodson consider “The Seat of the Trouble?”
6. Why does Woodson argue against imitating White culture?

7. Why do you think blacks were trying to conform to white standards and imitate white culture instead of developing their own educational system and culture instead?
From Gil Scott Heron’s “His-story”
8. What does Gil Scott Heron mean when he says that, “Libya and Egypt used to be in Africa but they’ve been moved to the ‘middle east’?”
9. Towards the end he speaks of “word games” and “semantics.”  What does he mean by this?  When Heron uses the term “his story” whose perspective is he referring to?